Safeguarding and charities

Safeguarding and charities

On 6th December the Charity Commission published its updated strategy for dealing with safeguarding issues in charities.

Strategy for dealing with safeguarding issues in charities

A key strategic aim of the Charity Commission is to ensure that trustees carry out their duties as required by law. This includes trustees “taking reasonable steps to protect their beneficiaries, and others who come into contact with their charity, from harm”.

They outline that “Safeguarding should be a key governance priority for trustees. Any failure by trustees to manage safeguarding risks adequately is of serious regulatory concern to the Charity Commission and it may consider this to be misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity and this may also be a breach of trustee duty.”

The updated strategy includes guidance on:

  • how the Charity Commission works with key partners and agencies to prevent safeguarding concerns arising
  • the regulatory role the Charity Commission takes to ensure that trustees carry out their safeguarding duties
  • how it responds to allegations or reports of safeguarding incidents in charities

Safeguarding policies and procedures

In the strategy paper the commission state that “it is essential that trustees:

  • know their responsibilities
  • have adequate measures in place to assess and address safeguarding risks
  • have adequate safeguarding policies and procedures appropriate for their charity’s particular circumstances and which reflect both the law and best practice
  • make sure that these policies and procedures are effectively implemented and regularly reviewed.

Safer recruitment

With regards to safer recruitment, the paper states that:

“Charities have a responsibility to make sure that trustees, employees and volunteers are suitable to work with children and adults at risk; that they obtain appropriate checks from the DBS; and that they are legally able to act in these positions. Charities should obtain and verify the original certificate of any DBS Checks.”

The Prevent duty

Some charities will also be subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. The strategy document states that:

“Trustees of those charities should make sure that they are familiar with the government’s statutory guidance on the Prevent duty.”

EduCare can help

Our complete online duty of care and safeguarding e-learning service contains a broad range of training courses including Safer Recruitment and The Prevent Duty as well as a course on Child Protection which provides advice and information about how to spot the signs of abuse, how to report concerns and practical advice about preparing a Child Protection policy.

We work with several leading charities who use our courses to train their staff and volunteers including Macmillan Cancer Support and Action for Children.

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